May 18, 2004

5/18/04 Arrow Rock State Park MO

52 miles (284 total)

What a great ending to a very good day. I'm sitting here listening to Janice and Bill from Minnesota play a violin and a nykelharpa, a keyed violin.

This morning Matt and Melissa took me out for breakfast. They've been wining and dining me the whole time here. I hope I can return the favor to them someday.

Already it was overcast and smelled like rain as I rode back to the trail. But the temperature was perfectly cool compared to yesterday. The flatness and straightness of the trail was kind of getting to me, and my butt.

Met Lorna who is researching for a book on what a modern day traveler would find along the present day Lewis & Clark Trail. We stopped to look at some petroglyphs up on the limestone bluffs. But when we looked up, black clouds were quickly coming our way. I put on all my rain gear and battened down the hatches on all the gear on the bike. I figured I could make it to Rocheport before it hit. I was wrong.

Storm clouds movin' fast!

The deluge hit you in the face and tried to keep me from advancing. Stopped under some trees, but it was coming down too hard. So, just started riding. Found Lorna and a few other people taking refuge under the I-70 bridge. We waited another 20 minutes until the rain subsided enough to go on. Was pretty soaked when I stopped for a burger in Rocheport. Tried to wait out the rain, but it just kept coming. So, got on the bike and headed back out.

"It's Jim Damico!" I heard yelled. My friend Jen was out for a few days on the KATY Trail and had brought some clear weather. Her and Andy do a short trip every spring. They got caught in that downpour and took shelter with all the ladies at the New Franklin Community Center. Today is their last day on the trail. It was so good to cross paths with her.

Jen, a good friend out to meet me on the trail.

After that visit, I didn't care whether it rained or not. After riding through Boonville, I could see rain in several directions but the sky was looking clear and blue ahead. Finally got on pavement, but with a long climb out of the city. Even though it was a roller coaster of a highway, it felt good to be on the road again. Except for the couple of farm dogs that chased me, and the one guy who flipped me off.

Pulled into Arrow Rock State Park and looked around for any other cyclists. No bikers but as I passed a pickup truck with a canoe on top pulling a small trailer, "Want something cold to drink?" Hence began my friendship with Janice and Bill from Minnesota. After a wonderful impromptu concert, we had a nice visit with another couple drawn to the music.

Bill & Janice from Minnesota

Playing a nykelharpa, a type of keyed violin